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Statutory Instruments (Mr Speaker's Ruling)

Volume 486: debated on Monday 9 April 1951

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I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, a question of which I have given you Private Notice: whether you have now been able to give further consideration to the advisability of Statutory Instruments not being accepted by the House in dummy form.

I must thank the hon. Baronet again for his continued attention to this matter. The practice on which my Rulings on Wednesday last were based dates from 1899. On the rare occasions during the last 50 years when statutory rules and orders have been laid before the House in dummy, my predecessors have held that the time during which a Motion for annulment might be moved against them did not begin to run until a complete copy was available to Members. But I am satisfied that this practice must now be changed in order to comply exactly with the terms of the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946, and to avoid any possible conflict with the courts.

I have therefore instructed the Votes and Proceedings Office that in future, Statutory Instruments and other rules or orders which are similarly subject to annulment during a statutory period cannot be accepted as laid before the House unless they are presented complete and in full. In other words, such papers will no longer be accepted for presentation in dummy.